Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry.  We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council four nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2014: the Council selected G. Bryan Balazs and Charles E. Kolb Jr. as candidates for 2014 President-Elect. These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.

The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced that George M. Bodner and Alan A. Hazari had been selected by Councilors of District II as candidates from whom one will be selected by members of vDistrict II to serve as Director for the term 2014-2016. Ballots will be mailed on or before October 10 to all ACS members in District II.

Committee Review

As part of a regular performance review, the Council voted unanimously to continue the Committees on Chemical Abstracts Service, Environmental Improvement, and Younger Chemists.

Re-alignment of Electoral Districts

At the 2012 fall meeting, Councilors called for a broader and long-lasting solution to requirements that Board electoral districts have parity in member populations. At this meeting, the Committee on Nominations and Elections reported on their discussions of a revised redistricting proposal which brings all six election districts within 400-1,000 members of the mid-point of the permissible range. This proposed action is designed to eliminate the need for frequent small changes for some time to come. The proposal will be up for vote at the fall Council meeting in Indianapolis. The Kalamazoo Section was moved from District II to District V in this realignment.

Officers’ Reports

Past-president Bassam Shakhashiri announced that the report of his Task Force on Graduate Education has been well received by both academic institutions and funding agencies.

Shakhashiri’s call for grant applications to disseminate the information of the Climate Science Tool Kit brought in a good number of applications and 11 were funded (Our Section’s proposal was one of those funded)

Among the initiatives being emphasized by President-Elect Thomas Barton during his year as President (2014) will be an effort to improve the deplorable state of US K-12 education and the pursuit of International collaborations.

There will be a Presidential symposium on Fracking at the San Francisco Meeting in the Fall of 2014

Society Finances

Despite the sluggish economy, ACS generated favorable operating results in 2012. This was largely attributable to better-than-expected performance by ACS Publications and Chemical Abstracts Service..

2014 Member Dues

The Council voted to set the member dues for 2014 at the fully escalated rate of $154. This rate is established using a formula described in the Constitution and Bylaws, taking the Consumer Price Index for service industries into consideration. ACS dues remain at the midpoint or slightly lower than dues of similar organizations.

Member Statistics

Society membership at the end of 2012 was 163,322, 893 lower than the total for year-end 2011 despite recruiting 24,943 new members. The net loss occurred primarily in the Regular, full member category with members seemingly unaware of the value of their membership. There was continued growth in both the Student Member undergraduate and international categories.

Meeting Attendance Report

The ACS spring national meeting attracted 15,596 registrants, including 8,105 regular attendees and 5,793 students. The meeting had 11,232 papers presented.

Local Section Activities

The Council voted to approve a new formula for the distribution of allocations to individual Local Sections beginning in 2014. The new allocation will be divided as follows: base allotment (49%); per member allotment (43%), and 8% for LSAC program funds (IPGs, Science Café and other Mini-grants).

Only 170/187 Local Sections submitted their Annual Report by the deadline.

International Chemical Sciences Chapters

The Council voted to approve the petition to charter the Romanian International Chemical Sciences Chapter, consisting of the Territory of Romania.

Special Discussion Item

A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President Marinda Li Wu presented and moderated a discussion on What else should ACS do to help members to thrive in the global chemistry enterprise? ACS has established a strategic goal to “Empower an inclusive community of members with networks, opportunities, resources, and skills to thrive in the global economy.” In support of this goal, President Wu commissioned a task force entitled, Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enterprise, to identify globalization opportunities and engage members in advocacy for improving the business and job climate. Following the presentation, 29 Councilors engaged in a discussion on what the Society currently offers or could offer to help members thrive in the global chemistry community; recommendations included recommending tax modification in the US, encouragement of younger chemists to promote the profession using social media, encouraging more entrepreneurship, among others.

Selected Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board voted to approve an alliance with the Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations (FLAQ) and to renew an alliance with the Chinese Chemical Society. The signing ceremony for alliances with the Chinese Chemical Society and the South African Chemical Institute (which was previously approved) took place prior to the open meeting of the Board of Directors. The signing ceremony for FLAQ will take place at the fall national meeting.

The Board received a briefing from the new director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, and a report on the newly instituted ACS Career Pathways™ Workshops.

The Board held a lively, well-attended open session which featured a special forum focused on two questions: 1) What one thing would you like from ACS that you don’t get now? 2) What one thing do you get from another organization that you wish you got from ACS? Members attending this standing-room only session received a brief overview of current Society offerings followed by an exchange of several ideas on future services and products.

Lydia E. M. Hines
KACS Councilor